There’s a wealth of data on home buyers, sellers and renters in this year’s Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends – a self-administered study that gathered information between May 17 and June 5, 2017 from a total of 13,125 key household decision-makers.

Zillow’s 15 favorites:


  • Thirty-nine percent of Baby Boomer and 25 percent of Silent Generation homeowners* still live in the first home they bought. There are likely several million homes that will hit the market over the next two decades for the first time since the 1950s or 1960s. What state will they be in? This is potentially a pool of “affordable” entry-level homes.
  • Forty percent of U.S. homeowners share their home with a pet. The data on Americans and their pets is so sparse, it’s a socio-economic research black hole. It was great to finally put a number on the phenomenon. And the number is impressive: Four in 10 American homeowners have a pet (mostly dogs).
  • Fourteen percent of U.S. homeowners say their home needs serious updating; 61 percent say their home could use “a little updating.” This speaks to the enormous potential demand in the American economy for home improvement labor and materials, and to an often-overlooked cost (both financial and emotional) of homeownership.


  • When renters* decide to relocate, it’s often prefaced by an increase in rent. Seventy-nine percent of renters who moved from a previous rental experienced a rent increase before moving, with more than half (57 percent) indicating that their decision to move was directly influenced by that increase, including 26 percent who state they were greatly affected by a rent increase previously. Only 21 percent experienced no rent increase in their prior home before moving.
  • Today’s renters cast a wide net to find a new place, contacting a variety of property managers and landlords, all while hoping for a timely response back. On average, a renter contacts 4.5 landlords or property managers and submits 2.6 applications. Almost a third (32 percent) submit three or more applications, demonstrating that for renters in competitive and fast-moving markets, disappointment and competition are now an unfortunate part of the rental process.
  • African-American/black renters submit 3.1 and Hispanic/Latino renters submit 2.9 applications for a rental home, on average, compared with just 2.3 for Caucasian/white renters.
  • When renters move, most stay in the same city (53 percent), and 12 percent even stay in the same neighborhood. Only 30 percent move to a different city (but stay in the same state), and 15 percent move to a different state. When it comes down to it, moving can be a heavy lift, and many renters may end up becoming comfortable with their neighborhood and its offerings.


  • Nearly a third (29 percent) of buyers* go over budget. More than a third of Millennial buyers (37 percent) go over budget, compared with 27 percent of Generation X buyers, 19 percent of Baby Boomers and 25 percent of the Silent Generation. Perhaps due to their inexperience, first-time buyers (many of them Millennials) are more likely to exceed their budget (32 percent) than repeat buyers (27 percent). Blowing the budget could also be tied to the fact that more than half of homes available to buy are valued in the top one-third of all homes. More than 40 percent of home buyers are first-time buyers, compounding the intense competition for less expensive homes.
  • Fifty-seven percent of first-time buyers also considered renting, with Millennials most likely to consider that path (62 percent). Given the state of the market for first-time and younger buyers noted above, it’s no wonder. Owning a home can have a lot of financial advantages over the long haul compared to renting, but renting offers flexibility for many would-be buyers who are not quite ready to make a jump.


  • Millennials make up almost one-third (32 percent) of sellers*. For all the talk about Millennials having trouble saving down payments and getting into their first homes, a fair share of them have both done that and are turning around to sell.
  • While 36 percent of sellers attempt to sell their homes on their own, although only 11 percent actually do. Many sellers who attempt to or do sell their homes on their own believe it saves time (36 percent) and money (57 percent). Some feel they’re their own best agents because they know their homes better than any agent could (27 percent), or they’ve had negative experiences with an agent (14 percent). Almost a third of these sellers already have a potential buyer in mind (29 percent), eliminating the need for an agent’s help with marketing.
  • One in two sellers (50 percent) sell their home below its list price. Millennial (30 percent) and Generation X sellers (24 percent) are more likely to sell their homes above list price than older generations (11 percent of Baby Boomer and 19 percent of Silent Generation sellers). This trend is attributable in part to location: Younger sellers are more likely to be selling a home in an urban area, where homes sell above their listing prices 29 percent of the time (compared with 20 percent in the suburbs and 13 percent in rural areas).

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